Former Decatur BOE member has big night

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt May 20, 2014
Valarie Wilson, photo from  Young Nonprofit Professionals Network website.

Valarie Wilson, photo from Young Nonprofit Professionals Network website.

This story was updated on May 22, 2014. 

Former Decatur School Board member Valarie Wilson joined a crowded field when she signed up to run for the Democratic nomination for state school superintendent.

But as the May 20 election night wound down, Wilson was the clear leader among the six candidates running to become the nominee.

With 153 of 159 precincts reporting, Wilson had 32 percent of the vote. If her lead holds, she will advance to the July 22 runoff election. If she succeeds there, assuming she makes it, she will then move to the general election in November. Her next closest challenger in the Democratic primary was Alisha Thomas Morgan, who had 26 percent of the vote going into the late hours of Tuesday evening.

There’s likely to be a Republican runoff as well. At last count, Michael Buck had received 19.6 percent of the vote and Richard Woods received 16.9 percent.

The results are unofficial, of course, but Wilson’s ability to compete on a statewide level is something that should no longer be a question.

Attempts to reach Wilson for comment so far have been unsuccessful.  Wilson responded for comment on May 21 and said she thinks her work with City Schools of Decatur was a help on the campaign trail.

“I love the city of Decatur,” Wilson said. “The kids in this community have received a great education here in the city of Decatur and I believe there are many more cities of Decatur out there if we provide them with the necessary resources and support to get it done.”

She has served as president of the Georgia School Boards Association. She is a member of the Decatur Education Foundation and the Decatur Arts Alliance. She works as Executive Director of the nonprofit Atlanta BeltLine Partnership.

When she announced her candidacy in March, she said, ““Public schools are at a critical juncture in Georgia. My decade of service to the City Schools of Decatur and then the Georgia School Boards Association has afforded me a unique, classroom level view of our school systems. I am seeking the opportunity to bring that perspective to serving students across Georgia. I look forward to the campaign and engaging citizens across the state.”

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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